Many employees who work in an office structure have different needs and preferences on the atmosphere of their work space. Whilst some people are fuelled by a constant buzz and communication with other staff memebers, others enjoy something more zen to help them concentrate. Whatver the preference, the acoustic properties of a space are important for everybody. A common misconception of filling a space with acoustic properties is that it retains sound and makes it a quieter environment. Although they help reduce unwanted background noise, they are also designed to improve the acoustics of an office and help prevent sound reverberation and echoing. Building acoustics into the layout of an office space helps control the levels of sound.
Sound travels further in larger spaces which creates echo, this can be unpleasant for a learning environment. This is a common disadvantage for many office spaces, particular open office plans with lots of staff. Creating spaces that are unobtrusive and sound absorbent can provide people with a space to concentrate and communicate without the distraction of excess sound pollution, making it more beneficial for meetings, relaxed working environments, and catch ups. Using quality acoustics in your office can promote a healthier environment in terms of mental health as it creates a space that works to decrease levels of stress, headaches and ear pain, and low performance. This would also be beneficial for the work place as the quality of work and employee productivity would theoretically improve as concentration and positive wellbeing would be increased.
Noise nuisance can relate to repetition of noise, noise that travels from outside the building into it’s interior, and even the frequency of noise which can be effected by the materials of a room. These aspects can all become incredibly difficult to deal with it isn’t managed properly. There are many ways to combat noise nuisance in the work place with products such as acoustic panelling, sound absobent cubes, and acoustic ceiling baffles.
Measuring the levels of noise to assess the acoustics of a building should be taken into consideration when building, renovating or improving an office or work space. You can find our more information on noise levels and sound pollution on the Government website or by reviewing the BS 5228 Noise and Vibration document.